Shenanigans and Tantrums Episode #67

Happy Easter hobbyists and crafters!
We sat down and chatted about our current projects and frustrations a day early so we can enjoy a day hunting for eggs and visit with family!

We both struggled with some of our projects this week. But we got through it and made some great project.

Dori used this video below to help her figure out her binding tool.

She’s also been enjoy Angela Walters’ Midnight Quilt Show. Definitely check it out!

I stuck to my goal and made five days worth of videos (plus a bonus video)on our YouTube channel. We attempted 5 different Pinterest pins and shared our process and our end results.

I’ve also started using my Splendid Sampler blocks in different quilted projects. I’ve started a table topper and attempted some pebbling.

Dori is almost finished with her most current quilt, the curved log cabin.

Dori’s going to be receiving the Hello There! Aida Cross Stitch box from The Fat Quarter Shop. Check back to see what she thinks about receiving cross stitch goodies in the mail.

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Shower Thoughts Episode #64

What is it about the warmth of a comforting shower that brings up the most ingenious thoughts and plans? And of course it happens when you are all wet and unable to stop to write down all the great ideas you come up with!

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Today’s music is brought to you by Reg (AKA Dad). The song was originally written as a lullaby for Jake and all the future grandbabies. Here’s to Jake, our big 11 year old, and our new little Logan.

We were surprised by a call from my sister announcing that Logan was on his way! He decided to come a little earlier than expected and he’s just perfect! Welcome, little man!

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Papa and his newest little man.

This month we are playing along with the March A Long 2017 hosted by the Scientific Quilter.  The goal is to sew/quilt/stitch/press/organize or anything in the realm of sewing for 15 minutes a day for the month of March.

It’s the beginning of the month so we set some goals. Dori is going to work on her curved log cabin. I’m going to continue with my blocks for the puzzle box quilt.

We share our shower thoughts for our YouTube channel. There is a plan to attempt some Pinterest crafts like this crayon melt art and record whether they are a pass or a fail.

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Another idea is to continue with the box openings but to expand beyond quilting and sewing. I’m looking into some yarn and art boxes to try out along with including my husband in some geeky unboxings. Keep an eye out for our future video ideas.

Dori had a huge success with an instant pot recipe. They tried a Mongolian Beef dinner that was tasty and enjoyable!

Check out the #IGQuiltFest on Instagram. We’re having a blast hopping around and meeting new quilty friends!

Thanks to our listeners and followers for your subscriptions and your friendship. We really appreciate you all.

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Growing Up QAL Block 2 

I recently discovered that I had a plethora of red, white, and/or black fabric stuffed everywhere about my craft room. I found them while looking for a scrap to cut up for a block. I was stunned that I had so much within that color combo!

What can I say? I’m addicted to reds!

But this works to my benefit because I’ve decided to use them for my Growing Up QAL blocks. This way I stick to my crafting resolution to not buy any new fabric.

For our February block, we had two choices: Birds in the Air or a Lady of the Lake and while both were cool, I went with the Lady of the Lake for more practice with half square triangles (HST).

I was pretty proud of myself because I did all the cutting from the start. I cut and pressed everything right off the bat so that I could work step by step instead of my usual way. Usually I’d cut a color at a time and then work at a square at a time. But not this time…

I was in it for the night so I set up my favorite binge watching show. I’m currently working through Friends from the beginning. It’s not a first time through but it’s one of my favorite shows to watch while I’m sewing.

I did it all in one sitting and it came together pretty easily. I made a few mistakes and sewed right sides to wrong sides on some of the smaller squares. Looking at it in person I felt like some of the corner squares were a bit off but in this picture it doesn’t seem so off.

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Comeback Quilters Episode #60

We’ve had a rocky start to the year but we’re finally back and ready to podcast!

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2017 has started off with quite a bang! With two new babies joining the clan and now a new sister-in-law to add to the bunch, we’ve been busy planning showers and weddings and gatherings. Very little quilting has been happening but we’ve managed to sneak a few crafty things in here or there.

I’m participating in Alida’s Growing Up QAL and I’ve finished the first month’s block. I also attempted (poorly I might add) an Instagram fitness and QAL called the Sweat and Sew.

Dori has been cranking out baby blankets left and right to prepare for the new grandbabies about to make their appearances in a few months. Her knitted blanket is done and she’s moved on to a cute whale quilt. Pictures are on Instagram!

We went to our first guild meeting! We got to see a wonderful presentation by Thom Atkins (not Atkinson) and we enjoyed our first meeting so much we’re planning on going to this month’s!

Dori enjoyed her 2nd trip to Road to California, even with it’s bumps and issues. Even with the rain and her cold, she came home with some wonderful items from Carol’s Zoo and Golden Thread Silks.

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A few shout outs to our friends around the web.

  • To all those going to Quilt Con this month! We are anxiously awaiting your pictures and posts of your experiences so we can live vicariously through you!
  • Thanks Kati for the book recommendation you left us on Episode #56.
  • Congrats to Francis and all the other quilter’s who have a quilt being displayed in Quilt Con this year!

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Growing Up QAL Block 1

This year for 2017 I’ve join a QAL (quilt along) or two from around the web. Now, my past experience with QAL’s has not been so great. I tend to lose interest or get so busy that I fall behind easily or I find myself in a QAL  and learn that I’m not interested in the type of blocks being made and thusly drop out.

This would be my reasoning for leaving behind the Splendid Sampler QAL. I learned through that one that I’m not fond of small blocks. Too fussy for me. And it makes sense, I’m not a fan of  patterns and following direct instructions so not only doing what I already don’t like PLUS making super tiny squares wore thin quickly.

But I’m not a complete quitter. I do intend on making it through a QAL at some point so I joined up with Alida from Alida (TweLoQ) Designs for her Growing Up QAL. Now these blocks are MUCH bigger (12 inches, yes!) and there is only one a month which is more manageable for me (at least I thought so). And I’ve already completed the first block which was an appliqué rose or heart.

My goal this year is to dive into my stash and only work with fabric I have on hand. I’m trying NOT to buy anything new. I had made a block the night before in some red/white/black combo that I love so I decided to stick with this. Because both QALs are the same sized finished blocks, maybe I can piece them altogether in the end and make a big sampler for me.
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So I went with a tiny red pattern and a cream background. The appliqué kind of intimidated me because I instantly saw the cuts and corners and felt that strain of “Ugh, too fussy”. But it was beautiful so I cut it out and pressed it on. I chose to machine stitch it down with a dark crimson Aurifil thread that matched the small crimson pattern on the flower.

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It was a bit stressful managing those corners and as long as you don’t stare too closely, you don’t notice when I went off roading a few times (just a few).

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It’s now complete and hanging out on my design wall with my other blocks.

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But I do have quite the mess to clean up. I can never do anything simply. I alway shave to get in there and just Tasmanian devil the place.

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And thankfully I had some gift cards because I didn’t have any fusible webbing to trace and iron on my design. With our weekends being so busy I had no time to pop out and grab what I needed till this weekend when we had no weddings, baby showers, or soccer games.

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 11 Crocheted Thoughts 

It’s finally time to update everyone on another Splendid Sampler finish block.

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Block 11 by Alyssa Thomas was a mix of piecing and embroidery. After my successful attempts at embroidery with block 4 and block 7, I was throughly excited to start this new  block!

So I jumped to it and get my block done. I was in the groove so I didn’t want to leave my house and sewing room to use my mom’s light table at her house.

Thank goodness for BIG west facing windows and warm, sunny California days! I was able to tape up and trace the embroidery pattern right onto my fabric without the need for a light table.

Before I began the actual stitching, I made a quick trip to Joann’s for some hoops and needles. The last blocks did I with old hoop or without one completely. And with the way this sampler was going, I figured there was more embroidery to come so it wouldn’t hurt to have some hoops to use. Good ones.

So I began. Using the same maroon floss and this time using a chain stitch, I made my way around the design and then…

I slowed to a stop. For some reason I couldn’t pull myself through. I’m not sure what it was, maybe just the need to quickly move onto the next block or the tedium of so much embroidery.

After a while, I finished the center design and decided it was good enough. I enjoyed learning a new stitch but I was ready to move on.

What did I learn from this block:

  • Using a hoop really does help. While I can embroider without one, the tension built with the hoop does made it easier.
  • I may want to purchase some stabilizer. I’ve yet to use it and I wonder if it will change the way I embroider.
  • DON’T LEAVE MY PROJECTS IN THE HOOP! As you can see, no matter how much I iron it, the impression from the hoop is still there.
  • Sometimes, less is more. Not doing the whole design for the embroidery turned out perfectly fine and looks good.

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The Splendid Sampler: Blocks 9 and 10

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The Splendid Sampler is still going strong with over 30 blocks already posted and over thousands of people participating. I’m in the background now participating when I can. But between our new house and my old job ending while setting up my new job for next year, I’ve had hardly a moment to sit down and sew.

But I do have a few blocks to share .

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We have block 9 The Quilt Shop and block 10 Iowa.

img_9439After a long hiatus from the sampler, I jumped in and knocked out these two blocks fairly quickly. I was worried the shop block would be tough but it came together really quickly. I did cut out some smaller pieces to simplify the process.

These were some pretty tiny pieces.


And because I’m using the little back dress set I named this the Little Black Dress Shop and used some of my embroidery stitches to make the sign. I was pretty pleased with that although I will admit to needing some stabilizer for the back.

For Iowa, I wanted to play with all the same fabrics but in the different color families so I went with my favorite, polka dots, and used that punch of red to make the corners and the center. I think it came out really sharp and a lot of people commented that it looked like a bird with a red beak.

I can’t blame them, it kinda does!

I’m pretty proud of that center point even if my other points don’t match quite perfectly. And I loved how easily this block came together.

If you are still on the fence about joining The Splendid Sampler, check out my beginners tips video on my YouTube channel for some inspiration and some ideas for getting started. I share my favorite tools and process to keep this sampler going!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #37

Hey Hobbyist and Crafters, it’s time for a mini episode!

I’m the lone host (boo!) this week as my mom flies home from Ireland (yay!). While we wait for her to arrive and settle back at home, here is a little update from us!

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We had some BIG milestones this week.

We hit 500 likes on Hobbies Up To Here!
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We also hit 100 followers on Facebook!

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Thank you!!!!!

Current on our Youtube channel, I shared my coloring book hobby!

Check out these cool blog hops, one is weekly, one is coming up in May, and the other is a year long project!

Color Play Friday over at Laurel Poppy and Pine!

Sign up for Alida’s Art with Fabric hop in May!

The Splendid Sampler is still going and is open to join at any time!

A big shout out to Christa for her newly published quilting book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting! Check it out!

This podcast episode was a live Periscope broadcast. For 24 hours you can check out this broadcast OR check out our Youtube channel where I will be posting the whole video! Our Youtube channel is listed below!

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 8 Friends Around The Square

Sometimes I’m annoying. I say this with slightly tongue in cheek. Otherwise, I mean it whole heartedly. I can be annoying.

My mom and I talk at length about her perfectionism and how I scoff at patterns and rules. But sometimes, just sometimes, I get roped in by the rules and it really can suck me in!

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Block 8 looked simple enough. A month had gone by for the sampler and I was feeling pretty confident about all my new skills. All my other blocks had their trials but so far I have been super happy with the end results. So I dove right in and decided to knock this block out quickly.

This was the first block that I took the time to organize my fabrics and to label them as I worked through the pattern. Yes, I said while “I worked through the pattern”. I was doing my best to use all the tools offered to me so that I could make a great block. And while it came together rather fast, I got stuck trying to make my points match up in the center.

Yes, my mother’s perfectionism is really started to rub off on me! While I could have just left it as it was, I figured I am in this to improve and learn so I can’t just leave well enough alone. I want it to be as close to perfect a I can!

My end result for that center point is as close to perfect as I could get after I literally ripped out the center seam 8 times to get my points to match! In the end, I love this block for it’s simplicity and it’s color combo. These fabrics together really sing to me and I’m happy to see my hard work pay off!

What did I learn this block:

  • Making my points match up is oddly satisfying. Seriously.
  • Prints that translate closely as a solid (that ouster black fabric) need to be broken up with more color or smaller prints. I like my choices, but it reads very solid and dark.
  • Measuring once and cutting twice isn’t effective when it comes to quilting (or anything really). So double check your measurements before cutting.

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 6 Focal Point

 

I am distractible. I can get easily pulled way from the task at hand and while it’s not always a bad thing, sometimes it can really cause problems.
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After wrapping up blocks 7 and 4 with all the hand embroidery, I was high on these small accomplishments and decided to ride that wave. I started up block 6, Focal Point.

Things were going so well at the beginning. My fabric choices were looking beautiful and really singing to me.

And then, my luck ran out.  I changed out my bobbins and noticed a lot of fuzz stuck beneath so I figured it was time to give it a good dusting with my compressed air canister I keep close at hand. After I whisked away all the mini dust bunnies in my bobbin area, I put things back together. But something funky started happening. Rosy began making loud noises and my feed dogs would not grab my fabric.

Something was wrong. After hours of working to fix the problem, I gave up and left my block 3/4 the way done and broke hearted that my block was SO CLOSE to being finished but it would just not be that night. I needed to walk away, sleep, and come back the next day.

In the process of fiddling with my machine and TRYING to get her to work, I broke my favorite seam ripper, too. Time for a new one!

But the next morning I woke up with the same resolve and discovered that in my need to clean, I had placed my bobbin casing back in wrong and my machine was fighting with each stitch.

Another reason why cleaning is no good! (I kid….kinda).

Here is my finished block. Look how beautiful it came out! I’m so happy with the end result and the simplicity of this pattern yet the complex look I ended up with. The black polka dots really frame the perfectly matched up center points and the light/dark corners really pull my eyes out.

So, what did I learn this block?

  • Don’t break your machine just trying to clean it up.
  • Make sure your needle is in the correct position before reinserting your bobbin case.
  • Clean in between projects, not in the midst of one.
  • Making the points meet perfectly has a satisfaction like nothing else!
  • Don’t use your favorite seam ripper to repair the much stronger innards of the machine. The seam ripper will lose. Every. Time.

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